District 5 Al-Anon/Alateen
Welcome to Al-Anon! People of all ages are welcome in Al-Anon, and you will find a mixture of ages at most Al-Anon meetings. People in their late teens, twenties and thirties attend Al-Anon because they have learned something important – personal recovery from the effects of other people’s problem drinking can begin as soon as the person recognizes that he or she is affected. Why wait for help, support, peace, serenity, and recovery when it is available to you now?
District 5 has a meeting for the young and young at heart! The meeting is called “Young At Heart” and the group meets at 7:30 pm on Friday evenings at the Westside United Methodist Church, 900 South 7th Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan (room 116 in the basement.) Please see our Meetings page for more information!
Why do people in their teens/twenties/thirties come to Al-Anon?
- Some want to continue to receive the help they found in Alateen and attend Al-Anon when they “age out” of Alateen.
- Some are affected by having had a problem drinker in their life when they were growing up – for example, a parent, step-parent, other adult relative, sibling, or friend. Adults often continue to experience effects from growing up with the problem drinking of another person.
- Some are in a relationship with someone who is a problem drinker; for example a friendship, partnership, romantic relationship or marriage.
- Some find that problem drinking is present in one or more of their relationships, and they are affected.
- Young adults keep coming back to Al-Anon because they find help, hope, and understanding, and they want what Al-Anon has to offer – even if it is not exactly what they were seeking when they first came.
- Young people initially come to Al-Anon and then keep coming back to Al-Anon for many of the same reasons that people of any age come to Al-Anon.
Al-Anon might be right for you if any of the following apply to you:
- Did you grow up in a family affected by the alcoholism of any family member?
- Do you have a parent, sibling, step-parent or other relative who is or may be an alcoholic?
- Do you have a spouse, partner, fiancée or friend who is or may be an alcoholic?
- Are you in a relationship with a person who is or may be an alcoholic?
- Do you have a close relationship with someone who is or has been in treatment or counseling for problems related to alcohol?
- Is the problem drinking of another person affecting you or influencing how you feel, regardless of whether you live with or have lived with the person or not, whether the person is currently drinking or not, or whether the person is alive or deceased?
- Do you think you might be affected by another person’s alcohol use? Do you think you might belong in Al-Anon, for any reason? Do you want to try it out?
If you are a potential newcomer to the Al-Anon program – please check out our Newcomer’s page, and know that you are welcome in Al-Anon regardless of your age or your reason for coming. You do not need to be certain whether or not you belong in Al-Anon in order to attend. You do not need to be certain whether or not the problem drinker is an alcoholic or not. If you think Al-Anon may possibly be right for you, you will be welcome.
Suggestions that might be helpful to younger members/potential members in Al-Anon:
- Meetings have similarities and differences. If you think you might feel most comfortable in meetings with other people your own age, you can try out several meetings to see what seems to be the best “fit” for you. You can ask others which meetings are most commonly attended by people around your age. If you don’t know of anyone to ask, you can contact the District 5 Al-Anon information line or your local Al-Anon information line for suggestions, or ask others that you meet at Al-Anon meetings, or a professional who may have suggested Al-Anon to you.
- Al-Anon suggests to all members/potential members that they “keep an open mind” and “identify not compare” – i.e. look for similarities between their situation and other people’s experiences, rather than focusing on differences. You may hear valuable experiences from Al-Anon members who are your own age, or older, or younger.
- If the meeting you attend does not have other young people your age, you can consider asking someone you know who is or may be affected by another person’s alcoholism to attend with you.
- If you hear someone share something at a meeting that seems to resonate or “click” with you, or you find you relate to or identify with what a member says, be aware that most members welcome the opportunity to share their experience, strength and hope with newcomers, regardless of differences in age or other circumstances. You are welcome after the meeting to ask others if you can speak with them, or to ask for their phone number. You can also ask if the meeting can provide a phone list of people who welcome calls from other members.
- A sponsor is a member who can help another member learn about and benefit from the Al-Anon program. A sponsor can help you become comfortable with and get started in Al-Anon.
Stories from members in their late teens – thirties: We hope the following stories, written by Al-Anon members, will help you know that you are not alone, and encourage you to try our program and attend a meeting.
Stories written by District 5 members (also posted on our Member’s Stories page)
Stories reprinted from the Forum (Al-Anon’s monthly magazine) –
All stories from the Forum are reprinted with permission of The Forum, © Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc., Virginia Beach, VA.
All Rights Reserved.